Here's the Scoop: July 25, 2012

Misfit Coffee
The coffee maker is broken. Again.
By my unofficial count, we’re into double figures in coffee maker purchases over the past 10 years or so. That’s a lot.

We’ve tried just about every type of product available — from fancy makers with a matching price tag to cheapo models that promise to deliver coffee worthy of the most discerning tastes.
Believe me, I’m not a coffee snob. I prefer something that has a pleasant taste and delivers a caffeine jolt strong enough to alter my state of alertness, yet something that doesn’t have me pacing circles around my desk. It’s not a lot to ask.

Naturally, the type of coffee one buys largely determines the taste and power of the brew — assuming one has a way to create the stuff. It seems that lately there are way too many times when our coffee-making ability is limited. To me, those days are a headache — in more ways than one.
I wouldn’t say I’m addicted to coffee — I merely rely on frequent use of this product to function in the everyday world. It’s not like it’s a problem when I don’t have my daily doses. Oh, who am I kidding? — I need coffee and I need it on a regular basis. There are worse things.

A small request
So, it should not be too much to ask to have a coffee maker that lasts for many years and provides a reliable, tasty brew.

Normally, I turn to Consumer Reports when preparing to purchase something big, like a car or a lawnmower. I have also utilized this service for researching coffee makers. Many times.
I’ve read all the reviews and purchased accordingly. It never takes long before disappointment begins brewing.

Our most recent coffee maker began acting strangely about a month ago. The brew time was getting longer and the sounds coming from the machine had more in common with an agitated bear than a caffeine provider.

Cloudy brew
Next came a “fog” inside the little informational display on the machine. As we all know from horror movies, fog is never a good thing. As it turns out, the same thing is true regarding coffee makers.
I mentioned that the coffee was taking longer to brew. Much longer. I finally began setting the time at 3:30 a.m. so it would be ready for my 6:15 a.m. infusion. Of course, then I’d lie in bed and listen to the animal-like growling for nearly three hours.

Worse yet, ingredients for six cups of coffee somehow had dwindled down to about three cups when the machine mercifully ended its cycle. That’s a “pour” ratio, in my book.
On top of the common trait of having a short working life, every coffee maker we’ve ever purchased also has also offered an annoyance that surfaces on a daily basis — the coffee is never hot. Fortunately, our microwave is near the coffee-maker, ready for me to pop my cup in for 40 seconds of additional temperature improvement.

Once again, it’s back to the drawing board of researching, sampling friends’ opinions and forking out more money for a coffee maker. Trust me, it’s a grind.
— Brian Sweeney